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Fourth Estate, 2004 - Fiction - 379 pages
2 Reviews
A compelling mystery which combines rich historical narrative with the story of a woman entangled in a 21st-century witch hunt. Jade Green is a solicitor with her own practice, Lost Causes, that she runs from her London flat. She struggles to keep her business afloat, and supplements her income by delivering for the local Chinese takeaway. Her life changes with a single phonecall. Dr Gilbert has been dismissed from his post teaching the history of science at the University of Wessex. Allegations have been made that he was corrupting the students with satanism; the professor himself suspects the university to be controlled by a fundamentalist christian sect. As Jade delves into this bizarre case, she finds herself drawn into a seventeenth-century manuscript, the original of which has been stolen from the Professor's briefcase at the university. It is The Memorial of Amyntas Boston, a young woman -- raised as a boy -- who is awaiting trial for dabbling in the black arts and in alchemy. Taken into service by Mary Sidney, she had fallen in love with her mistress and ultimately found herself betrayed by her. The two stories intertwine as Jade feels her life mysteriously resonate with Am

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Review: Alchemy

User Review  - Goodreads

A very peculiar book. This combines the stories of a girl, Amyntas Boston accused of witchcraft in the 1600's who went around as a boy, and a young modern day lawyer who is working on the case of a ... Read full review

Review: Alchemy

User Review  - Goodreads

I picked this up because of a great opening paragraph which caught my eye in the library - but, although the blend of historical fiction and hard-boiled mystery sounds intriguing,to me it just doesn't work. I also couldn't believe in a far-fetched plot involving religious cults. Read full review


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About the author (2004)

Aphra Behn (1640-1689) was a prolific play, novel and poetry writer of the English Restoration and was one of the first female English professional writers. Her plays include "The Forced Marriage", "The Amorous Prince, The Dutch Lover, Abdelazer, The Town Fop, The Rover, Sir Patient Fancy, The Feigned" "Courtesans, The Young King, The False Count, The Roundheads, The City Heiress, Like Father, Like Son, The Lucky Chance, " and "The Emperor of the Moon.

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